What is Nature's Classroom?
At Nature’s Classroom, students and teachers are given the chance to experience education from another perspective, outside the walls of the classroom.
Nature’s Classroom is a residential environmental education program, at thirteen wonderful sites in New York and New England. Most schools take advantage of a five-day program, while we participate in a shorter stay that works for us. After spending a time at Nature’s Classroom, living and learning together, students develop a sense of community, a confidence in themselves and an appreciation for others that carries over to the school community.
Over 750,000 children and 450 schools have come to view Nature’s Classroom as a solid academic experience, with an emphasis on scientific inquiry and critical thinking. They have been recognized for excellence by the National Science Teacher’s Association, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the State of Connecticut.
They have been offering the very best in environmental education for more than 40 years.
What is the timeline?
- Spring of 4th grade: A 30% deposit is due
- September of 5th grade: Final payment is due
- Open House of 5th grade: Information session is held on Open House night for parents
- October-Month of trip:
- Day 1: 5th Grade leaves for Nature’s Classroom in the morning. The class and teachers depart from PMA.
- Day 4: Return from Nature’s Classroom around 3:00pm and meet at PMA.
- We take school buses to and from Nature’s Classroom. Luggage gets brought with us on the bus. We carry our luggage to and from the bus to our sleeping area so it’s important to make sure that your belongings can all fit easily into your suitcases and/or duffle bags. You should be able to carry your belongings all by yourself.
- There are no school uniforms needed for the Nature’s Classroom trip. The “Equipment List” has all the necessary clothing items you will need.
- Once at Nature’s Classroom there will be whole-group activities, small-group activities (field groups), and classes. The whole-group and small-group (field group) activities are determined on-site by the Nature’s Classroom staff and are tailored to the needs and wants of the specific groups. Classes are announced each day and students have some choice regarding which class they take.
- Yes, there are dissection classes offered. Students are NOT required to participate.
- The sleeping facilities are wonderful. Each room sleeps 4-5 people, is heated, has windows that can open, and have dressers for clothing storage. The sleeping arrangements are determined by the 5th Grade teachers ahead of time. Students have some say in who they room with. There is a “boys” wing and a “girls” wing, each with their own bathroom facilities including sinks, toilets, and showers.
- There are three home-cooked meals each day, and the meals are all-you-can-eat. The meals are VERY kid-friendly, and the cooking staff can accommodate just about any dietary need (gluten, dairy, nut, chocolate, etc.) Nature’s Classroom is a nut-free kitchen and they do not serve anything that contains nuts or nut products.
- There is a medic on-site from about 6am-10pm. All medications needed can be dispensed from the medic as needed at any point during the day. A complete medication form will be provided for you to fill out if needed, and a medical consent form allows us to transport to a local hospital (10 minutes away) if needed.
- There is no gift shop, souvenir shop, or any other place to spend money. No money is needed whatsoever.